VARA DE REY PROMENADE AND CITY CENTER PEDESTRIAN RENOVATION

Studio: aldayjover architecture and landscape

Authors: Iñaki Alday, Margarita Jover, Jesús Arcos, Francisco Mesonero, 05AM

Location : Ibiza, Spain

Video: aldayjover architecture and landscape, Germán Lama, Lourdes Grivé, Pep Tur

Paseo Vara de Rey and Plaza del Parque are Ibiza’s most vital public spaces, located at the base of the UNESCO World Heritage fortification Wall. A 1960’s unfortunate operation fragmented these spaces into minimal sidewalks and reduced promenades isolated by parking lots and transit lanes. The Wall base became a parking lot and a back alley for trash bins and service stalls.
aldayjover’s winning competition entry extends the initial public space to adjacent streets and to the base of the wall in order to make the first pedestrian development outside the Wall. These spaces become key urban articulations connecting pedestrians between Port and the walled core. Lines of trees and repurposed original stone curbs guide pedestrian circulation and views.
Main vegetation is kept and street curbs, lampposts and urban furniture, recycled: Not only by an environmental consciousness, but also by a new economic paradigm. In 2010, the budget to urbanize pedestrian areas was cut from 300€/m2 to 154€/m2. Infrastructural costs were hardly reducible, so pavements and recycled elements had to absorb this massive cost cut, with the same or higher quality and durability.
The single material proposed solution is an assortment of tinted concrete finished with different textures and types of local stones, and articulated with fine lines of galvanized steel to organize the public space uses.
The result is a new model for pedestrian areas and for integration of new developments with historic architecture: A new paradigm that demonstrates the recovery of public spaces in the new economic era.